You add it to your morning cup of coffee. Sometimes, you use it to bake pastries and cookies. You even sprinkle it all over your breakfast cereal or your strawberries for “adding flavor”. By IT, I mean SUGAR. It is everywhere in your life and I’m sure you are loving it! (yes, this is a reference to McDonald’s slogan, super funny right?). I’m sorry to be a killjoy but you need to know that sugar is the single worst ingredient in the modern diet. Yes, really. SUGAR = EVIL.
It is important for you to realize that there is no need for added sugars in your diet. They don’t serve any physiological purpose (they are called “empty” calories). The less you eat, the healthier you will be. I want to be clear that I’m speaking about added sugars, those that are added to food, not about natural sugars that occur naturally in fruits, vegetable, seeds and grains (these are healthy foods that also contain water and various micronutriments).
Over the past 30 years, Americans have steadily consumed more and more added sugars in their diets, which has contributed to the obesity epidemic. Today, an average American consumes about 32 teaspoons of sugar per day (= 130 grams) which is more than an hundred pounds per year (about 45 kg). And this is only an average, people! Acutally more than 50% of all Americans consumed 1/2 pound of sugar per day — translating to a whopping 180 pounds of sugar per year (about 80 kg)
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the maximum amount of added sugars should be below 25 grams per day (or 6 teaspoons). When you know that one 12oz can of Coca Cola contains 39 grams of it, then you begin to realize that your daily sugar intake is way higher that it should be. And this is definitely not good for your health!
10 facts proving that SUGAR is your worst ENEMY
1. It makes you look older
I know, when I read that study, I also felt betrayed. How come nobody told us that before? Instead of investing of hundreds dollars in beauty & anti-aging products for years, we could have just stopped eating sugar? Apparently, the answer is yes! Wrinkles, deep lines and sagging skin are a partial byproduct of the process known as glycation, in which excess sugar molecules attach themselves to collagen fibers and ultimately cause them to lose their strength and flexibility. To put it in simple terms: sugar is collagen’s enemy and is extremely damaging to the skin.
2. It can provoke and aggravate acne
Here are other bad news for your skin! By promoting inflammation and hormonal changes, excess of sugar can aggravate acne. However, studies have also shown that it is not because you stop sugar that your acne will disappear. Life is so unfair.
3. It makes you fat and causes cellulite
This probably isn’t news to you, but the more sugar you eat, the more you’ll weigh. This is pretty simple: people who eat sugar get more calories and most of the time they are not burned off with physical activity. In addition, sweetened beverages are less filling than naturally sweet foods like fruit and make you want eating more. And what are you going to crave for? Not an apple for sure… Also, don’t forget that sugar increases inflammation in the body, affecting your blood vessels, skin and cellulite. Inflammation is an important aspect of cellulite so now you know what is the first thing to do to get a “summer body” and feel good at the beach. (Yes, stopping sugar, not buying a one-piece bathing suit!)
4. It can be the cause of your headaches and migraines
Excessive amounts of simple carbohydrates (such as white sugar or pasta) can cause migraine headaches. When you eat simple carbs, your blood sugar rises. Your body then produces extra insulin to break down the sugar; your blood sugar levels to drop dramatically. That spike and plummet of blood sugar can lead to headaches and make them worst. So, the best thing you can do to relieve your headache symptoms is to cut out processed (garbage) foods from your diet. Donuts = headaches
5. It is bad for your teeth
Your mum was right: sweets can rot your teeth. Bacteria that cause cavities love to eat sugar and if you don’t brush your teeth right away after eating something sweet, you can say bye-bye to your bright smile.
6. It can make you more tired
When you consume a lot of sugar, you will feel an instant surge of energy. But this is only temporary and the surge will be followed by a crash, ouch! This is because sugar makes blood sugar levels increase rapidly and the body automatically reacts to high levels of sugar by releasing insulin from the pancreas. This results in a sudden decrease in blood sugar, which can leave you feeling very lethargic, sleepy and even hungover (yes, it is possible to have a “sugar hangover”). You may also crave sweets as your body tries to regain blood sugar level balance again.Yes, it is a vicious circle, exactly like a drug addiction!
7. It induces mood swings, anxiety and depression
Sugar is also bad for your mental health! The evidence is clear. There’s a strong correlation between sugar consumption, depression and anxiety. You may turn to sugar when you’re feeling blue or stressed to be better, but it is only temporarily.
8. It is linked to Alzheimer’s disease
People who eat diets high in sugar could be at greater risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers found that excess glucose damages a vital enzyme involved with inflammation response to the early stage of the disease.
9. It can lead to heart disease
When you eat too much sugar, the extra insulin in your bloodstream can affect your arteries, part of your body’s circulatory system. It causes their walls to grow faster than normal and get tense, which adds stress to your heart and damages it over time. This can lead to heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes. Super fun, right?
10. It can cause various cancers (breast, ovary, rectum, etc)
Did you know that sugar is cancer’s favorite food? Due to the anaerobic respiratory mechanism exhibited by all cancer cells, sugar feed them, making them grow more aggressively. It’s not surprising then that the scientific community renamed it the “White Death”.
Stay away from Sugar!
The bottom line is if you want to be and stay healthy, you must take control of your sugar intake so that it doesn’t take control over you and your health. The AHA recommends to take less than 25 grams per day, I would personally advise to get rid of all types of added sugar in your diet. Remember, SUGAR is your worst ENEMY (picturing yourself with 10 extra pounds, cellulite, pimples and yellow teeth will help you). No need to thank me.
You never say no to biscuit or a chocolate? You always finish your meals with a dessert or something sweet? Sometimes, you wake up in the middle of the night to get your “dose”? What if you were addicted to sugar? Think about it: how do you feel without your daily sugar intake? Tired? In a bad mood ? Sometimes a little irritable, even completely irascible?
Evaluate your level of addiction with this quiz.